paper trail

Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize; "LA Times" staff try to unionize

Anuk Arudpragasam

This morning, the Nobel Prize committee announced that Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. Ishiguro is best known for his 1989 novel, The Remains of the Day, a book that exemplifies one of his maxims: "As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened." His latest novel is The Buried Giant, published in 2015.

The National Book Foundation has released its list of finalists for the 2017 National Book Award. Honorees include Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing; Masha Gessen’s The Future is History; David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon; and Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties. Winners will be announced next month.

Staff at the Los Angeles Times are pushing to unionize the newsroom. According to unnamed members of the organizing committee, nearly two hundred employees have signed union cards. After organizers left an unsigned letter on staff desks detailing the goals of the union, parent company Tronc distributed a memo warning employees of the dangers of organizing that “featured a clip-art drawing of a person standing on two dice.”

Crooked Media, the company behind podcasts like Pod Save America, is launching a website. will feature written editorial content designed to promote “an honest and productive debate about American liberalism and how the Democratic Party should represent it.” The site will be helmed by Brian Beutler, currently a senior editor at the New Republic.

Stephanie Danler’s novel Sweetbitter is being adapted for television. Starz has ordered six half-hour episodes of the series.

At Paste magazine, Emmett Rensin reviews Hillary Clinton’s memoir, What Happened, from the point of view of someone who has no memory of Clinton or the 2016 election cycle: “Indeed the strangest element of What Happened is the widespread belief, both within and without the Clinton campaign, that she would win. I can only take her word that this was widely believed, but it is difficult to fathom. The Clinton I discovered in these pages was a radical. From the moment she left her position as President of Wellesley’s Republican club (a detail she mentioned, much to my shock, in the book’s final pages), Clinton fought relentlessly against the entrenched, reactionary forces of her nation.”

Tonight at the Center for Fiction, Leslie Jamison talks with Anuk Arudpragasam about his novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage.